Commanders offense vs. Stallions photo gallery

De'Marcus Ayers heads upfield after catching a pass against the Stallions on Saturday at the Alamodome. - photo by Joe Alexander
De’Marcus Ayers heads upfield after catching a pass against the Stallions on Saturday at the Alamodome. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Commanders had to work hard for every yard on offense on Saturday against the Salt Lake Stallions.

In the end, the Commanders scored their second touchdown of the game with less than six minutes remaining in a 19-15 victory at the Alamodome.

The Commanders had 64 yards rushing. Almost a third of that, 19 yards, came from quarterback Marquise Williams off the bench in the fourth quarter. Trey Williams had 19 yards and David Cobb had 18.

The Commanders had 213 yards passing – 164 yards from Logan Woodside and 49 from Marquise Williams. Both quarterbacks threw one touchdown pass. Marquise Williams threw a 36-yard pass to Trey Williams for the winning touchdown.

Commanders wrap up road stretch with victory over Legends

image from Twitter.com @aafcommanders

Editor’s note: This story was updated Sunday night after the Birmingham Iron beat the San Diego Fleet 32-29

The San Antonio Commanders wrapped up the dreaded four-game road stretch of their schedule with their third straight victory and return home at the top of the standings.

The Commanders defense came up with a series of big plays for the second week in a row as they knocked off the Atlanta Legends 37-6 on Sunday at Georgia State Stadium.

The Commanders (4-2) went 3-1 on the road stretch of the schedule. They play at the Alamodome on Sunday at 7 p.m. (Central) against the Salt Lake Stallions (2-4). The Commanders have sole possession of first place in the AAF West. San Diego and Salt Lake are both 3-3.

“We just finished 3-1 on the road on a four-game road trip, which I think is pretty impressive for us,” Commanders quarterback Logan Woodside said. “We’ve got a chance to go back and play a really good Salt Lake team back in San Antonio. We’re excited about going back and playing in the Dome.”

Commanders defensive backs De’Vante Bausby, Zack Sanchez and Derron Smith all came up with interceptions. Smith had an interception return for a touchdown for a second straight week. Duke Thomas added a first-half fumble recovery.

The Commanders scored touchdowns after their first three takeaways.

“We’ve got some good players and they made plays today,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said. “They’re athletic and they’re savvy. Derron Smith is a very unique football player.
(Zack) Sanchez made another interception. Those guys, if you make a mistake around them, they’re going to make you pay. They play with a lot of confidence.

“Getting turnovers is one thing. Being able to capitalize with points, that was really the game today. We got the ball in some good situations for our offense. We did take advantage of it and made it count got a good early lead because of it.”

Greg Ward Jr. gave the Commanders a special teams score when he returned a punt for a league-record 79-yard touchdown. The Commanders’ offense did not have any turnovers.

“I was really proud of our team today,” Riley said. “I think we kind of stayed on top of it. It was fun to see basically all the parts of our team, offense, defense, and special teams all contribute to winning the game. It was definitely a team win, a team effort.”

Woodside completed 17 of 23 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

“I think it’s just another week with this offense and these guys,” said Woodside, who was the AAF offensive player of the week last week. “I just tried to take it personal to study more and try to do everything I can in practice to make myself better. Obviously with the defense we have it have makes it tough on us in practice. So it always good to to go against those guys every week.”

Wide receiver Mekale McKay and tight end Evan Rodriguez had the Commanders’ touchdown catches. Tight end Cam Clear led the team in receptions with five for 45 yards.

“What we hoped to do is run the ball OK. We didn’t really run the ball as well as we wanted to today,” Riley said. “But we ran. We like to run.

“Then we like to have play-action passes that go down the field. Then we need some ball-control passes. One of the best things about our game at least early in the game, we hit some consistent ball-control routes that got some first downs for us. We kept the ball for a long time in the first half.”

Commanders running back Kenneth Farrow scored the first touchdown of the game to make it 6-0 in the first quarter. That was set up by Thomas’ fumble recovery.

The Legends tried to get even on their next drive when they went for a deep pass. The Commanders’ Smith and Bausby were there to break it up.

Sanchez had his interception later in the first quarter. That set the stage for Woodside’s touchdown pass and two-point conversion pass both to McKay to make it 14-0. The Commanders kept that drive going when Woodside completed a fourth-down pass to Clear.

The Commanders defense came up with its third takeaway of the first half on Bausby’s interception. This time Woodside threw a touchdown pass to Evan Rodriguez and the Commanders led 20-0.

The Legends scored a touchdown late in the first half for what turned out to be their only points of the game.

Ward’s punt return for the touchdown extended the Commanders’ lead to 26-6 with 1:00 left in the half.

Nick Rose, who has not missed this season, kicked a field goal on the Commanders’ first possession of the second half to make it 29-6.

Both offenses were held in check the rest of the way. The final touchdown of the game came on Smith’s 87-yard interception return with 8:40 remaining.

Commanders tight ends at training camp

Updated Jan. 22 at 10:56 a.m.

Commanders tight end Evan Rodriguez heads up the sideline after catching a pass Monday in training camp at Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders tight end Evan Rodriguez heads up the sideline after catching a pass Monday in training camp at Central Catholic High School. – photo by Joe Alexander
The tight ends are football’s big men who can block, run and catch passes.

The San Antonio Commanders have plenty of size among their tight ends – going all the way up to Cam Clear from Texas A&M, who was listed at 308 pounds at minicamp. Clear is reported to be down to about 278.

The other tight ends on the training camp roster are Cole Hunt from TCU, Jevoni Robinson from North Carolina State, Evan Rodriguez from Temple and Stehly Reden from Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Henry Poggi, who is listed as a fullback from Michigan, also spends time as a tight end.

Robinson was limited in practice on Monday.

Editor’s note: Updated to more accurately reflect Cam Clear’s current weight.

Commanders a blessing for Andrew McDonald

San Antonio Commanders offensive lineman Andrew McDonald is back in pro football for the first time since being cut by the Houston Texans in 2016. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Commanders offensive lineman Andrew McDonald is back in pro football for the first time since being cut by the Houston Texans in 2016. – photo by Joe Alexander
Andrew McDonald’s pro football record shows more teams than games played. From 2012 to 2016 he was signed by the Dolphins, Panthers, Seahawks, Colts, Browns, Chargers and Texans. During that stretch his only playing time came in two games with Seattle in 2014.

Houston cut McDonald in 2016 and he hasn’t been on a roster since.

But that’s just the football part of his life. He was diagnosed with cancer – and beat it. He spent two years and ministry school in Indiana and might go back and finish that when his football career is over for good.

For the moment, McDonald’s life is focused on football again, specifically on San Antonio Commanders training camp.

“First week goes by quick,” said McDonald, a 6-foot-5, 314-pound offensive lineman. “Man, it’s so good to get back into it. It’s been awhile. Two years since I’ve been back. But man so good.

“All the camaraderie of the teammates, actually putting on pads, hitting people. It’s a good feeling. I feel like we’ve really bonded together.”

McDonald started every game at left tackle for Indiana University his junior and senior seasons – 2010 and 2011.

With the Commanders, he is currently seeing more time right tackle but also working some at the other positions on the offensive line. As part of a new team, he is part of a group that is trying to come together quickly.

“Everybody is new so we’ve all got to really learn each other, find what kind of people we are,” McDonald said. “You’ve got to be able to trust the teammate next to you, especially offensive line.

“It’s working out. Everybody here on the offensive line, I love them. We’re a pretty tight knit group. Obviously you’ve got to take steps, but it’s coming along pretty well.”

McDonald’s college bio page:
iuhoosiers.com

McDonald comes back from cancer:
indystar.com

Jason Minnix of ESPN San Antonio, who will handle radio play-by-play of Commanders games, checks out an official AAF ball. - photo by Joe Alexander
Jason Minnix of ESPN San Antonio, who will handle radio play-by-play of Commanders games, checks out an official AAF ball.
Training camp report: Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019

It was a sunny day in the low 60s. Players were in full pads.

There is no practice scheduled Friday – the first day off since training camp workouts started Saturday.

Photo gallery: today’s catches

Tight ends at Commanders mini-camp

The tight ends go through receiving drills at San Antonio Commanders mini-camp on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at the University of the Incarnate Word's  Benson Stadium. - photo by Joe AlexanderThe tight ends go through receiving drills at San Antonio Commanders mini-camp on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at the University of the Incarnate Word’s Benson Stadium.

The Commanders open the inaugural Alliance of American Football (AAF) season on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at home at the Alamodome against the San Diego Fleet.

Additions to Commanders roster: Dec. 7, 2018

San Antonio Commanders fans got their first chance to see the team's uniforms in person on Tuesday.The following players have recently been assigned to the San Antonio Commanders:

Winston Craig, DT, Richmond
Kenneth Farrow II, RB, Houston
Kennan Gilchrist, LB, Appalachian State
Jordan Holland, DB, Prairie View A&M
Cole Hunt, TE, TCU
Bryce Jones, DB, Akron
Austin Larkin, LB, Purdue
Justice Liggins, WR, Stephen F. Austin
Joey Mbu, DT, Houston
Kishawn McClain, DB, North Texas
Mekale McKay, WR, Cincinnati
Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple
Orion Stewart, DB, Baylor
Duke Thomas, DB, Texas
Nick Thurman, DT, Houston

Updated list of Commanders players